Germantown, PA Mice Start House Fire, Jul 1911

Blaze Mice Start Imperils Lives Of Sleeping Family

Boy Hurt In Fall From Window Sill

Roused from slumber by the loud crackling of flames, John CARNEY, 15 years old, of 279 Cotterton Heights, Germantown, yesterday, woke his brother, aged 20, both shouting cries of warning to their sleeping mother and another brother, Peter, across the blazing hallway.

The woman, in her anxiety to get her son safely out of the window and into the arms of the crown below waiting to catch him, pushed the boy over the window sill. In the excitement, those who were ready to receive him, misjudged the distance and he fell to the ground, injuring himself.

Mrs. CARNEY, who was herself badly burned in attempting to rescue the earnings of her two elder sons, for which she rushed wildly through the burning home to the place where the money envelopes had been stored, was taken to Germantown Hospital with severe burns of the face, arms, and body. Peter CARNEY was also treated there.

Her rescue was thrillingly effected by George ADAMS, of Penn street and Magnolia avenue, who placed a ladder against her bedroom window and ascended to where the endangered woman was lying. Policeman George TROTT, of the Germantown station, was beaten back by the flames when he entered the building to investigate a rumor that an infant had been left there and was being consumed by the fire. The cries which were heard and which led up to the rumor, were afterward explained by the discovery of the body of a dog, which had been roasted to death.

Dog Was Family Pet

The animal, which was a pet of the family, was found by Policeman KROOM, of the same station.

According to neighbors of Mrs. CARNEY, her husband died about nine years ago, leaving the family practically destitute. In order to have her children educated, it is said she took in washing. Even after John and Joseph CARNEY were old enough to work, it is affirmed, the mother continued to labor for the good of the family.

The cause of the fire is thought to have been mice nibbling at matches.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia, PA 17 Jul 1911